17 thoughts on “Don’t Be a Grammar Putz”

  1. #5: effect for affect”

    This is where we get the loathsome use of “impact” as a verb. I’d like to impact whoever started that trend. Preferably with some kind of blunt instrument.

  2. I’m just a tad nervous about writing now….but:

    I’d take issue with the the “If….then” conditional statement criticism. If the “then” is omitted then, it seems to me, it’s a contraction of sorts. Spelling out a contraction might seem wordy or formal but it is more precise and hardly need be avoided.

  3. One thing I learned by writing a lot of email in a corporate enviroment, is to simplify the sentences as much as possible. I had noticed that a good portion of the text would be essentially filler text of no value. Though if you cut too much, the email can appear terse which is perceived as rudeness by some people if they’re in an emotional state that clouds their objectivity.

  4. I think the “If… then” is a matter of taste, but I prefer it without the “then”. Affect vs. effect is a tough one, and I will also share my opinion that while there is a right way to use the words, it is not always easy and someone can mess it up without being a complete, uh, putz.

    I’d like to cast my vote for the phrase, “one of the only” as the most annoying, followed closely by misuse of irony to mean simple coincidence.

    Writing, especially informally, about these things makes me paranoid. How many dumb mistakes will I find in this comment after I’ve posted it?

  5. Myself instead of me. Myself is the object when I am the subject.

    I crack myself up.

    He took Harvey and me to dinner.

    I think this comes from kids having it drilled into them not to say “Me and so-and-so…” until they become afraid of the word “me”.

  6. “The accounting department had more problems then we did.”

    This seems correct to me – especially in Hollywood and in DC

  7. The underlying problem behind all of these, I suspect, is the over-reliance on spell-checkers, which generally don’t take homonyms or context into account, as a substitute for proofreading.

  8. The cited article ignores the difference between American and British usage/grammar regarding ‘different from’ and ‘different than’. Either is correct, depending upon where you use it.

    As ‘correct English grammar/usage’ is always a moving target, I’d drop that one from the list.

  9. I should cover my head in shame and mutter mea culpa on at least half of the charges. Still, mine is not the worse case.
    I’m not corresponding with clients in a way my bank’s Customer Service Banker (official title) did, an hour ago.

    I asked for a lost debit card replacement, and the response was, I quote:
    “Thanks for contacting [name withheld]!
    Please be informed, our do not indicate new card is issue.”

  10. This is pronunciation, not grammar, but… the ever-popular “nukular” for “nuclear.” A related one I just heard (twice, on the last two Sundays) was “interstellular” for “interstellar,” from my priest – who I’m sure thinks that Bush’s inability to say “nuclear” correctly is an undeniable sign of the President’s stupidity. Or maybe his stupidulity.

    (Side note: I think it’s amusing that the Episcopal church has a stock Eucharistic prayer that includes the phrase, “the vast expanse of interstellar space.”)

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